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Posted on 4 Jul 2016

Here's Your Guide To The Senate Candidates Who Just Became Insanely Powerful

They are... interesting.

In case you missed, Australian politics right now is a clusterfuck of epic proportions, and nowhere is that more true than in the senate.

William West / AFP / Getty Images

The double dissolution election was supposed to clear the senate of crossbenchers who caused so much trouble in the last parliament.

And it kind of worked - people like Glenn Lazarus, Ricky Muir and David Leyonhjelm won't return, but they're going to be replaced by a different group of fiercely independent senators.

It's worth noting, the Senate results are far from final, and we may get many more interesting senators before counting is finalised.

So who are these independents and what do they believe in? Let's take a look.

Pauline Hanson, Queensland.

Greg Wood / AFP / Getty Images

The One Nation leader is back! Hanson is a certainty to enter the senate from Queensland, and there's a chance her party will pick up some seats in other states too. If that happens, Hanson will be one of the most powerful politicians in the country.

What she believes:

Islam: A huge part of the One Nation platform deals with Islam. Here's the whole thing.

* Call for an inquiry or Royal Commission to determine if Islam is a religion or political ideology

* Stop further Muslim Immigration and the intake of Muslim refugees

* Ban the Burqa and Niquab in public places

* Driver’s licence cannot be obtained without showing the full face and having photo ID on driver’s licence

* Surveillance cameras to be installed in all Mosques and schools. Mosques to be open to the public during all opening hours

* No more mosques to be built until the inquiry is held

* Oppose the introduction of Sharia Law

* Investigate welfare payments paid to Muslims who may be in multiple marriages, having multiple children

* Ban Halal certification. Halal certified food not to be provided in prisons or the armed services. Companies may comply for export but no monies must be paid

* Call for a referendum to change Section 116 of the Australian Constitution

* Muslims will not be allowed to be sworn in to Parliament under the Qur’an

* Female genital mutilation to carry lengthy jail term

Then there's the rest of her platform:

* Halal food: Ban halal certification and ensure that all Halal food is clearly marked.

* Climate change: One Nation wants a royal commission into climate science and would oppose any taxes on carbon.

* Agenda 21 is a voluntary UN resolution regarding sustainable development. Some conspiracy theorists believe it's an effort to limit population growth and install a new world order. One Nation wants to conduct more research into it.

* Family court: Abolish the family court and replace it with a family tribunal, made up of people from "mainstream Australia".

* Multiculturalism: One Nation believes multiculturalism has failed. it wants to abolish multiculturalism and the Racial Discrimination Act and promote "assimilation, nationalism, loyalty and pride in being an Australian."

* One Nation also believes in legalised medicinal cannabis, voluntary euthanasia, a scheme similar to the dole to assist university students and a plebiscite to determine the fate of marriage equality in Australia.

Derryn Hinch, Victoria.

Scott Barbour / Getty Images

The controversial former broadcaster has a colourful history. He's been convicted three times for contempt of court by naming sex offenders, often in breach of suppression orders.

What he believes.

* Sex offender registry: This is his big issue. Hinch wants a publicly available sex offender registry which includes the offender's photo, name and aliases, their crime committed, address, and the year in which they committed the crime.

* Justice in sentencing: Hinch wants jail sentences to reflect community views and to reduce the influence of precedent in sentencing.

* Bail and parole reform: Hinch wants to make it harder for criminals and suspects to be freed on bail or parole. These are both state, not federal, issues.

* Hinch also believes in marriage equality and voluntary euthanasia and says he will fight for animal rights and victims of domestic violence.

Christian Democrat Party (Fred Nile Group), New South Wales

Fred Nile has long been a figure in NSW politics, and now it looks like his federal senate candidate in NSW, Nella Hall, will be taking a seat on the red benches.

What they believe:

* Marriage equality: Marriage is between one man and one woman only, no ifs or buts, and definitely no butts.

* Sharia law: The CDP believes on "one law for all", which is a nice way of saying no Sharia law.

* Safe Schools: Ban safe schools and its "Marxist agenda".

* Freedom of speech: Remove of the words ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

* Health: End the government's freeze of the Medicare rebate.

Jacqui Lambie, Tasmania.

Lambie burst onto the political scene in 2013 when she was elected to the senate as a member of the Palmer United Party. She's back for a second term, under her own name.

What she believes:

* Halal food: Lambie doesn't want Halal food banned, but she want it clearly marked and formal reporting and auditing of all halal fees.

* Indigenous issues: Lambie wants dedicated Indigenous seats in federal parliament, and constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians.

* Foreign Aid: Lambie wants to halve Australia's foreign aid spending.

* Lambie believes in conscience votes for "all moral and ethical issues" and supports a plebiscite on marriage equality.

Nick Xenophon Team.

Scott Barbour / Getty Images

The NXT looks set to pick up a handful of senate seats, making its leader one of the most powerful kingmakers in politics.

What he believes:

* Made in Australia: Wherever possible, government departments should buy locally.

* Gambling: Nick Xenophon got into politics to fight against problem gambling. He'll push hard for pokies reform, including maximum $1 bets on pokies and end to betting ads during live sport.

Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Rob Stott at rob.stott@buzzfeed.com.

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